Eat More Fruit Guilt-Free
Cookies, chips, and other packaged foods can taste great. But they have a lot of calories and not much nutrition. Instead, choose snacks -- such as apples, oranges, and other fruits -- that have fewer calories and more nutrients. They keep your family full and fueled for longer.
Fun With Fruits and Vegetables
A little creativity can go a long way to get kids more interested in foods that are better for them. Use cookie cutters to cut fruit and vegetables into fun shapes -- like tomato flowers or watermelon stars. Use fruits or veggies to make a funny face on a bowl of cereal or an open-faced sandwich.
Look for Water-Rich Foods
Fruits and vegetables have more water and fiber than processed foods, making you feel fuller. For example, a whole, juicy tomato has the same amount of calories as five dry pretzel sticks. So choose more fresh foods to help your family fuel up.
Try Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Beans, peas, and lentils are packed with powerful nutrients and energy for growing bodies. They have similar amounts of protein as meat but less fat. Try adding them to soups, making a chilled bean salad, or using them instead of meat in a main dish.
Get Whole Grains in the Morning
Mornings crunched for time? You can take your healthy breakfast to go. Pack whole-grain cereal for kids to eat in the car. (Skip the sugary kinds. They won't fuel kids for as long.) Grab low-fat yogurt or high-fiber cereal to eat when you get to work. Fiber and protein can keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Get the Family Involved
Get your kids on the healthy bandwagon by having them help you make vegetable pizzas. Cut up a variety of veggies and let each person pick what to put on his pie. Try cutting back on fattier options like pepperoni or sausage. They'll realize that vegetables -- and even fruit, like pineapple -- can make pizza just as tasty.
Win Over Veggie-Haters
Is your family reluctant to try new vegetables and fruits? Slowly add them into your menu. List all the fruits and veggies that your family likes. If the list is short, each week have them pick one new item to try. Steam, roast, or stir-fry vegetables. And let kids get in on the cooking. They're more likely to eat what they helped make.